Mag Circulation Report: Hard News Struggles, Gossip Gains

The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) released its semi-annual publishing report, the Fas-Fax, on Monday--which indicated a continued hard road for newsweeklies, while celebrity-oriented magazines made noticeable strides.

Despite such high-profile stories as the ongoing war in Iraq, the tsunami that devastated Asia in December of last year, and the terrorist bombings in London that killed over 50 people, sales for the two major newsweeklies in the United States remained weak, with Newsweek's newsstand sales tumbling 14 percent to 126,163, while newsstand sales of Time Inc.'s Time magazine fell 3.4 percent to 157,217 copies. Circulation remained flat at 4.05 million for Time, and climbed slightly for Newsweek, to 1.05 million.

With the reading public evidencing a taste for lighter fare, People magazine, also owned by Time Inc., saw its circulation rise to 3.8 million--a rise of 1.3 percent--while circulation for Bauer Publishing's In Touch grew an impressive 49.7 percent to 1.12 million.



TV Guide--which announced last month that it was jettisoning its historically pocket-sized dimensions and metamorphosing into a full-sized color layout edition of over 100 pages beginning on October 17th--pushed its rate base down from 9 million to 3.2 million, and watched as circulation remained steady at 9.07 million. Single-copy sales tumbled 38.7 percent to just 314,854 copies.

TV Guide's dramatic redesign will also see the weekly begin to devote 75 percent of its space to celebrity and television-related news and interviews.

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